Posts Tagged ‘dance’


Global Musicians and Dancers to Explore Meaning of Place at Memorial University

June 16, 2010

The Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP) is hosting a symposium next month which will see presenters from Newfoundland and around the globe consider how individuals and social groups give meaning to place through music and movement.

The event will take place in the MMaP gallery, second floor of the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s, from 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m., on Friday, July 2. The final session of the day, featuring local traditional singers, will be held at Bitters Pub at 4:30 p.m.

“Despite and even because of global flows of culture, the concrete and imagined places of sounding and dancing continue to have significance in the lives of musicians and dancers,” said MUN professor and symposium organizer Dr. Kati Szego.

“There’s a dynamic relationship between how we connect, intellectually and emotionally, to certain spaces—our homes, our places of worship, our natural environment—and how we sing, play and move in those spaces and about them. This symposium is a special opportunity to explore those connections that help define our humanity and our place in the world.“

Presenters from Slovenia, Brazil, Austria, Malaysia, Korea, Australia, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, the United States and Canada will consider how:

• musicians and dancers make places meaningful through stories, commemoration, mimesis or even gestures of control

• music and dance are shaped by how people think about the spaces, regions and geographies they occupy e.g., east and west, land and sea, heaven and earth, in and out.

• the physical or metaphysical properties of spaces and places affect how people experience music and dance

• location, dislocation, and multi-location are expressed musically, lyrically, and bodily

The papers will vary as wildly as the presenters’ origins. For example, Janice Tulk of Cape Breton University will explore the Corner Brook mill whistle as a soundmark; Tran Quang Hai will demonstrate Mongolian overtone singing; and Kenyan scholar Jean Kidula will look at music and dance at rugby sevens events in Nairobi and San Diego.

For more information, please visit or call 737-2051.

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It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing: A History of Swing

May 21, 2010

Duke Ellington & Loius Armstrong

The era of swing jazz is said to have began in the early 1930’s and carried on into 1940’s but, like any musical style it is next to impossible to get a handle on what exactly defines the different stylistic periods within the music’s history.

Swing is said to have been born when rhythm sections in jazz bands started using a four-to-the-bar beat instead of the two-beat emphasis commonly used in Dixieland and New Orleans style jazz. This new rhythm coupled with the horn sections that used more surprising syncopation techniques gave the music a sound that seemed to have a swinging motion, leaving listeners with the compulsion to get up and dance. Some argue that it was the dance that inspired the music and not the other way around. It is said that when people started dancing to jazz in an “edgier” fashion the performers had to adjust their style to keep up with the people on the dance floor. Regardless of its origins there is no debate over the fact that both the music and the dance go hand in hand giving birth to such sensational dance forms as the Lindy Hop, the jitterbug, the St. Louis shag, and countless other extravagant dance moves.

The swing era may have started in the early 1930’s, but the seed was planted in the 1920’s. Many claim that it was in the mid 1920’s that Louis Armstong, with his unique timing, phrasing, and overall style on the trumpet, was the pioneer beginning the evolution of swing jazz. Through its growth stages, it wasn’t until the mid 1930’s that swing had really “taken off” with appearance of “The King of Swing,” Benny Goodman. Although Goodman is credited with the popularizing of swing music, much of the success belongs to jazz greats such as Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Bennie Moten, and Count Basie, who were not given the recognition they deserved, due to the colour of their skin in a time where racism was prevalent.

Though the swing era is often considered the golden era of jazz, it, like many things, couldn’t survive the Second World War. Due to the large number of band members that got drafted, the remainder of the band was forced to hire whoever they could to fill the void, often resulting in taking on unskilled musicians. Another factor contributing to the death of swing was that during the war fuel rationing made touring next to impossible, especially since most swing bands were comprised of more than ten musicians. Through the necessary demise of the swing era, just as its predecessors, it made way for the perpetually changing sound of jazz.

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Dare to Dance in Newfoundland & Labrador

April 26, 2010

In honour of International Dance Day, April 29, DanceNL invites all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to DARE TO DANCE.

Take 5 minutes out of your day. Boogie in the backyard. Do the lancers in your living room. Salsa with your sweetie. Do the cha cha with your children. Twirl, leap and spin for 5 minutes on Thursday to celebrate dance in all its forms.

And tell us about it! Drop an e-mail. Check out our website. Upload a video on our Facebook group. And happy International Dance Day!

For more information, check out: or contact us:


Musical Theatre Summer Studio is gearing up for another exciting summer!

April 12, 2010

Sing! Act! Dance the Summer away in the Coolest Camp Around!

for kids from 7 to 17 years!
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
$400 + HST for Two Weeks
no experience neccessary
June 28th – July 9th, St. John’s
July 12th – July 23th, Mount Pearl
July 26th – August 6th, St. John’s
August 9th – August 20th, Mount Pearl
CALL 709.764.3232
or e-mail for more information.
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